Thursday, July 31, 2014

Go under.

When you love the ocean so much, it's hard to imagine that it could scare you. But there I was yesterday, standing on the shoreline mulling whether or not to go in.

The waves were rough, and (for the Jersey Shore) a tad high. I thought of wiping out on my paddleboard last week...a wave crashed on me and my board went flying. Paddle whacked me in the face, and I had a fat lip for an afternoon. So not sexy.

But I went for it yesterday, because how many more days and weeks will I be able to immerse myself in salt water. To feel free and relaxed and engulfed in calm? Not too much longer. That's why I always try to go in the water, even though it hasn't hit 70 this summer yet.

I wish I was in when we saw two pods of dolphins go by. They were so close to shore, and so majestic. Still, I am glad I got in. Once I was in, the fear crept up when a big wave would roll in, similar to obstacles in life. They look intimidating and strong and you're sure they're going to pummel you.

The secret: Go under.

When a wave comes, you have a few choices. Ride it if you're in the right position, whether that's on a board or body-surfing. You can also bob up with it so long as it's not breaking yet. But when you're right in the position where you know you don't have time to get out more and go with the flow...when you know it's going to break hard, you can just GO UNDER.

What a metaphor! There I was, scared shitless of a wave in the gorgeous ocean. I just held my nose and ducked down, and the once-strong wave felt like a passing current going overhead. It wasn't so strong after all. And when I emerged from the water, I was fine.

I know, not all of life's waves can be avoided by going under. Some can, though. Sometimes there's no need to get wrapped up in a wave crashing on us. Sometimes, we can avoid pain and stress.

We simply have to outsmart the wave...and in doing so, find the peace and lesson underneath it, where the water is still calm.

Listening to: Matt Kearney--Crashing Down (irony?)


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